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thanks for watching. piers morgan starts now. tonight, donald trump. >> america is doing so poorly. and it soon will not be a great country the way it's going. the leadership is very poor. we're doing very poorly. >> how donald trump would solve the debt crisis and what he would do to keep america great. and remember the uproar over president obama's birth certificate? >> honestly, i'm very proud that i was able to bring this to a point. nobody else was. >> i'll ask him why he says the
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race to the 2012 white house will be the nastiest in history, and why the white house pays too much attention to wall street. and a candid conversation with tafis smiley. this is "piers morgan tonight." donald trump says america's economy has gone from bad to worse and now he is joining me on the phone. >> hello, piers. >> congratulations on being a grand father again. your daughter had a beautiful girl arabella rose. >> thank you. >> if we were to describe a good future for arabella, what would
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you do? >> the debt limits have to come down. the whole world of debt has to be changed as far as this country is concerned. we have to create jobs, and we have to create them rapidly because if we don't, things are going to just head in the direction that's going to be almost impossible to recover from. so we really need jobs now. we have to take jobs away from other countries because other countries are taking our jobs. it is practically not a country that does business with the united states that isn't making, let's call it, a very big profit. china is going to make $300 billion on us at least this year. and they just revised that recently. i don't know if you saw. but they just said those numbers are going to be low. so we have to take our country back. >> what do you think of this gang of six plan? do you think it's workable from what you've seen? >> well, from what i've seen, and nobody really knows exactly what it represents and what it is yet, but at least they are in there pitching, and at least they are trying to make the big deal. the big deal is really the deal they should make.
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i don't like the deal where we kick it down the road for six months. this is the time to make the deal. and i have to tell you, the republicans have the cards. people might not think that, but the republicans have all of the cards. and this is the time to get rid of obama care. this is the time to make the great deal. >> i've been following you on twitter, and you've been pretty aggressive about obama on the economy. you believe that he can't stop spending and that america has to stop spending. one of his beliefs, of course, is that he's got to get rid of these tax incentives for the rich. and look after the guys with no money. why would you oppose that as an ideology? >> well, you know, it's a different world today, piers, where people in this country can form companies in foreign countries, where they pay very little tax, much less tax. and once you start taxing -- and i'm not talking about me. but once you start taxing people that do create jobs and do
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createness create businesses, you take the businesses away and then you're really going to have an unemployment problem. he's treading on very dangerous waters. >> i put this question out the other day. given where we are right now in america, economically, how much of the blame should be attached to barack obama, and how much should be attached to the previous eight years of republican administration? if you were choosing a percentage, apportioning blame to each party there, what would you say? >> well, look, you know as well as anybody, and you know me probably better than most because of our wonderful relationship on "celebrity apprentice," where you won and did great, and i'm proud of you and i'm proud of how well you're doing. but you understand, i was never a big fan of george bush, ok? it wasn't like, oh, gee, i'm a rah-rah guy for george bush. but obama took over a situation, and has made it not better, but probably worse.
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i think the economy is getting worse. i see things getting worse. employment has gone up, not down. so bush certainly wasn't the greatest. and obama has not done the job. and he's created a lot of disincentive. he's created a lot of great dissatisfaction. regulations and regulatory is going through the roof. it's almost impossible to get anything done in the country. environmentally speaking, i want to tell you, i see jobs that are stopped all the time because of absolutely insane and ridiculous environmental rules. and these are jobs that could be employing a lot of people. so nothing has been made better. it's only been made worse. so in terms of percentages, you know, i would just not really like to say that. i would say i wasn't a fan of the first, and i'm certainly not a fan of the second, because the second has made things worse, not better. >> and in terms of america plc, the business model, if you like, america incorporated, as it is
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here, if you were analyzing the old model and the way it ought to go, what are the fundamental changes? it seems to me you're right about bureaucracy. china doesn't bog itself down with bureaucracy. they just get stuff done, and that is why they are roaring ahead. that's one of the things. secondly, america doesn't really build anything anymore. doesn't make anything. it doesn't export enough stuff. to these countries that now have money. what other things have you identified? what should america be doing to revise its business plan, to get itself going again? >> well, you're really right about that. the system and the model is broken. it didn't used to be broken years ago. everybody went out and they worked. and you look at 50% of the people aren't paying taxes. and it's an amazing statistic. but tremendous numbers of people aren't paying any taxes. and we have a lot of people that just don't want to work, they don't have the incentive to work, or that haven't been brought up to work. it's a big problem for this country. in china, everybody is running around working like mad. and i give them great credit for
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that. but i also give them great credit for being much smarter than our leaders, and they've taken our jobs away. they manufacture our products. as do other countries. and the first thing that has to be done is we have to get back on track with respect to opec, which is a tremendous abuser of this country, and we don't even talk about it. and with respect to china and others who abuse our country because their leaders have made much better deals than our leaders because our leaders are either not as smart or there's some other reason. but it's inconceivable some of the deals they make. you look at colombia. a country not that large. they had a $4 billion surplus on us this year. they made $4 billion. we never make a deal. we never make a deal where we come out on top. so we've lost our jobs. we've lost our incentive. and i will tell you, and piers, i have discussed this with you before, getting things done in this country, if you want to build something, if you want to
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start a company, it's getting to be virtually impossible with the bureaucracy. it's horrible. >> i think america is just so bogged down in red tape. getting almost basic things done involves sheaves of paperwork. and i'm quite surprised living here now just how the most basic stuff you want done in your life requires hundreds of pages of documents. this is one of the reasons that countries like china are storming ahead, because they just don't have that kind of bureaucracy. >> it's interesting in china. i have been to china and i've been all over the world. and they want to build a city, and they fill in a part of the ocean. it takes them two days. we'll build a city and create thousands of jobs. if you ever even suggested it in this country, they would say you're certifiably insane because you can't do it. i have seen recently where a certain type of grass -- i don't
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go into the level of detail that i should. but a certain type of grass has held up a major job from being built. major. supplying jobs to everybody and everybody wants it to happen. but because it's got a little piece of grass, a certain type of rather rare grass, the environmentalists hold up the job. and now this job will never get done. >> it is ridiculous. >> china will fill up the ocean. and i say to a friend of mine in china, how long did it take you to get your permits? he doesn't even know what i'm talking about, it went so fast. so this country is in serious trouble. and we have to get back on track. >> yeah. it is in serious trouble. and what i want to talk to you about now is who you would trust, given you're no longer in the presidential race. which of the republican candidates so far, and, you know, michele bachmann, i guess, is emerging as one of the favorites from the tea party side of things. mitt romney appears to be best at fundraising at the moment and so on.
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which one have you identified as potentially the one that could beat barack obama? >> well, it's too early for me to say. everybody is asking me for support and all of that. it's just too early for me to say. but i will say this. that i think the republicans are so misplaying their hand. they have the cards. and it started back in december, when you had the lame duck session. and obama rose like a phoenix. he was gone. it was over for obama. and they brought him back with the deal they made, which was a horrible deal. paul ryan's plan where he attacks medicare is one of the dumbest things i've ever seen, especially if you happen to be running for election, because you're going to see -- the only one happy is nancy pelosi and her group, because you're going to see some tremendous reversals. i see it already with congressman west, where he's being beaten up now by, you know, the democrats over medicare. >> and what do you think of michele bachmann? >> well, i think she's a very underrated person. she actually came to see me in new york a few weeks ago. and i was very impressed with
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her. and i think she's highly underrated. i think she's very good. >> and sarah palin obviously has not committed yet. she's not a good friend of yours. >> no, i think she's terrific. she is a terrific person. she came to see me a little while before. >> they are all coming to see you, donald. >> yes, they are. but they are highly underrated people. they're smart. they know what they're doing. they know every move. and they don't get proper credit. so i don't know that sarah is going to run. i don't think she's going to run. i'm not sure she knows whether or not she's going to run. but i think she's a terrific person. i think michele is a terrific person. >> talking about people coming to see me, in this case me, i have an old friend of yours, tavis smiley coming in, in a moment, for an interview, who said during the birther controversy that your involvement in any election would make it the ugliest, nastiest, most divisive and most racist in the history of this
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republic. anything you'd like to say to tavis? >> the word "racist" has not been applied to me, i will tell you that. i was very proud of the job i did with respect to the birther issue, because i got obama to do something which nobody else was able to get him to do. and there's a real question why he took so long to do it. maybe sometime you can ask him why and check out that document carefully. but i got him to do something else that nobody else was able to do. but the republicans have a chance. but the way they're going about it, they are not going to get him out of office. they are making mistake after mistake, and i can see them already making another mistake when it comes to what they're discussing right now in terms of debt limits. >> donald trump, provocative and entertaining as ever. thank you very much for joining me. >> thank you very much, piers. coming up, tavis smiley responds. his take on donald trump, politics, and president obama.
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tavis smiley is the host of his own show and the author of "fail up."
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he is joining me now. >> piers, congrats on your show. >> and on yours. you heard donald trump there. what did you think of that? >> i did not call him racist. i suggested that the way he was handling this birther issue is indicate of if -- indicative of how nasty this race for the white house is going to be. i stand by that. there is all kinds of signs that this will be an ugly, nasty, divisive race for the white house. >> i know donald trump well. i don't think he's got a racist bone in his body. i know that. i think he felt with obama and the birther thing, no matter how ludicrous it was to other people, he couldn't understand why the president just doesn't release the birth certificate right away. it was a bit odd that it took so long. why do you think it took so long? >> i'm the last person they would ask to people for them. what i do know is that barack obama has been treated in such a way there is no comparison to
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any president being asked to render that document. that issue had been settled long ago. and for whatever reason, hate, racist, whatever it may be. there are many in this country in the tea party and beyond who will not let this issue go. i thought then and think now that it was beneath him to try to build his campaign on that issue. beyond that, i thought donald trump was pimping the media. and i thought many in the media went with it. he was laughing all the way from the day. i said from day one donald trump is not going to go for president. he is making too much money. he pimped us. >> i would take issue with that. i spoke him with privately through that. there was a time he went in the polls for the nominees. he was deadly serious. he was looking at this and getting amazing reaction from the public. then he had the triple whammy really. you had the white house
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correspondents dinner he went to. osama bin laden got killed. the birther issue was resolved. and the air went out of his sails. but he was thinking about it. it wasn't just some game. >> you have insights i don't have, obviously. what i do know is this is not the first time he's flirted with running for the white house. if you're going to run, run. but run on legitimate and serious issues. this notion of the birther attack on the president, that was beyond the pale. my friend cornell put it this way. when it comes to the president, we have to respect him, protect him, and correct him. and if in in my career, i have always respected the president. there are times that i have had to protect him against birther attacks, but just as often i will correct him if i think he is wrong. this is a case where i thought he needed to be protected against vicious and vulgar attacks.
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>> is america more or less racist since barack obama became the first african-american president? >> more or less? that's a good question. i don't think it's more or less. i think what we see are fissures that have always been there, but they have been exploited as a result of his ascendancy to the white house. this whole notion of a post racial america was nonsense from the beginning. it was a bad idea, a bad notion, a bad forulation when it was first raised. i think what it signifies is america may be less racist. less racist, but in no way are we post racial. >> in a funny way, it was a fantastic day for african-americans when he got into the white house. but at the same time it raised the whole issue, put it out there, exposed people. and i share your concern that the next election campaign, there will be subtle racism. a play here, i'm sure. >> why just subtle? why not outright and avert? >> do you see that, though? >> that's my point.
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i think that birther attack was indicative of that. >> moving on from that. it's been resolved. do you still see residual issues there, what you perceive to be racist views? >> i think the deck is stacked against this president like it never has been before. i'm not going to suggest that was racist through and through. for all black folk -- all the love and admiration for barack obama in the african-american community, obviously he could not have been voted in without the white folk. black folk could not have done this by ourselves. so i don't want to have a blanket approach to calling all americans racist that didn't agree or support barack obama. and i hated that thing about me when i made the comment about donald trump and obama. my point wasn't to stack the deck in such a way that any critique of the president was racist. that doesn't make and sense, because i critique the president too harshly for some people. >> what is your main critique of president obama right now?
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>> it's a question of are you going to side with the weak or the strong? and the evidence to date shows that this president has sided with the strong over the weak. >> in what way? >> wall street. when wall street came calling, he responded. in ways that sommers and geithner and others in the administration wanted him to respond. i think wall street is exhibit a. in so many instances, we see him siding with the strong over the weak. or compromising and capitulating on issues that do not serve the best interest of thes by that -- of the base that got him elected. >> part of his charm of why he got elected is he's not reactionary. what is wrong with a president taking his time listening to the arguments making decisions? are we in too much of a rapid fire society these days where everything has to be boom, boom, boom. i quite like that style of presidency. i won't say he's perfect. but i quite like that style of presidency. >> two responses to that. one, i laugh at my friends in
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the media, particularly those who are progressives or liberals, who celebrated the fact that he was calm and deliberate and methodical and he listened well when he was running. those same progressives are now giving the president hell for taking too much time, et cetera. it's been amazing to watch that 180 shift in the progressive critique against his presidency. number two, there is nothing wrong with the president taking his time to consider all sides. but at some point people want to see the president fighting for them. that's what their polling suggested that people want to know whether or not the president is fighting for them. my grand dad said there's some fights that ain't worth fighting even if you win. there's other fights you have to fight even if you lose. i think americans want to see the president fight for them. >> hold that thought. we'll see what you think he should be fighting on and why. [ male announcer ] it's simple physics...
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the day i'm inaugurated, this country looks at itself differently and the world looks at america differently. if you believe that we've got to heal america and we've got to repair our standing in the world, then i think my supporters believe that i am a messenger who can deliver that
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message around the world in a way no other candidate can do. >> that was then candidate barack obama with tavis smiley in 2007. he promised a lot. it was the audacity of hope, and perhaps hope was a bit outrageous in the case of barack obama. nobody could live up to the kind of expectation we had. we were talking before the break where you'd like him to be more forceful. america's in a massive financial meltdown at the moment. a real crisis. what's the way out? how do we revive america incorporated? how do we get it back on its feet? >> i recognize that campaigning and governing as you recognize, piers, and campaigning and goccerns is two different things. and so often, presidents are judged not by what may promised but highwow they handle crises their watch.
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here's the bottom line, when obama was in the interview, he and mccain had presidential debates. the word poverty does not show up in debates. mccain doesn't raise it, the moderators in those debates don't raise it. no conversation about the poor, about poverty during that campaign. who are the new poor these days? the new poor are the former middle class. what's my answer to your question? it's simple. three things, jobs, jobs, jobs. that's the message they've been missing. it troubles me that a campaign that was so good at staying on message, that was so good at delivering the right message with the voters, somehow got off track and they've not focused on jobs. i think the piece we both read by frank rich in "the new yorker" recently laid it out brilliantly. we've made the same critique for three years. this is fascinating for me. if piers morgan says the same thing i say, it's okay. if frank rich says it, it's okay. but somehow if we make those same arguments in love and out
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of respect, somehow we're haters. somehow we're being too hard on the president. somehow inside our own community you end up being a sort of pariah. but all you're trying to do is to speak truth to power, be consistent to the power. and why is what i say versus my white progressive friends any different? >> you say in your book is your favorite quote is samuel beckett. if you fail, fail again, fail better. is part of your problem with president obama that he doesn't take enough dramatic action to risk potential failure? he's not doing things fast enough. i mean, interestingly, just when everyone was saying this, he went and killed bin laden. boom bang. took him out. audacious raid. he has it in him to do that kind of thing. then on the debt crisis, on the economy he seems to be quite diffident. >> i'm not sure whether the debate is a question of pace, fast or slow.
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i think it's about principles and priorities. >> how do we get people back to work? if you were in charge, what do we do? >> there's got to be a laser focus on jobs. number two, the president shouldn't be afraid to say the word poverty. he won't even say the word poverty or poor. you can't be afraid to address it. there's got to be a laser focus on job. let's talk about deficit reduction. that's the quickest way we'll decrease unemployment. history is replete with examples of moments in time when we talked about deficit reduction and try to advance it around the world, where it leads to job losses, not job creation. >> you'd be spending more now to get out of this? >> this deficit reduction conversation right now is ill timed. this is back to my point about too much capitulation. this is not the part to be talking about deficit reduction. again, i'm not the only person to say that. show me examples in history where deficit reduction leads to more job.
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nob's leveling with the american people about that. >> would you raise taxes right now to increase revenue? >> i think raising taxes is an option, number one. >> cut spending at the same time? >> i think there are places to cut spending, but we're not cutting it in the right places, number one. number two, you can raise taxes on the right group of americans. number three, i think you can close a whole lot of corporate loopholes. it's tragic for me that mr. emil is head of the economic commission and he heads a company that paid not a cent. i paid more taxes than ge paid. >> what you're really saying is that president obama has not looked after the poor in the way that perhaps he promised it. and he has kind of back scratched the rich and hasn't done nearly enough to be punitive with them. ironically given so many of these people, the bankers and so on, were the ones who got us in the mess. would you like him to go after the richer americans? >> yes. but with one exception.
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i respect your word choice. i don't call it punitive, i call it fairness. what you call punitive, i call fair. i think the president out to be fair. >> they would say it's punitive. >> of course. >> donald trump says when you tax the rich, what you tax is achievement and hard work, the american dream in many ways. why should they be punished? >> the rich always say that. the rich has never seen a tax that they like. i have been rich and i have been poor, but we are not unwilling to pay our fair share. i said consistently that great presidents respect born, they're made there is no fdr without randolph pushing him. there is no lbj without mlk pushing him. so you got to push these guys. >> they had plans these guys. >> and they took risk. >> when you say laser focus on
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jobs, what's the big plan he's not doing to get americans back to work? >> first of all, again this conversation about deficit reduction is ill timed, number one. number two, those same guys on wall street who we took care of, we've got to find a way to have them get off the trillion dollar plus money they're sitting on and not reinvesting it in the community. we could do this all night. but there just hasn't been the kind of focus. i'm not an elected official, and i respect the question and we could answer it and continue to answer it. the problem is that the folk who we elect to deal with these issues know what to do. when they bailed wall street out, they did it with no strings attached. nobody's talking about jobs in washington. >> hold that thought. when i come back i want to talk to you about which of the republican candidates if you were obama you would be fearing most as an opponent. we inspect your air filter, cabin filter.
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back with my guest tavis smiley. tavis, when you see the republican potential nominee lineup, if you're barack obama right now given it's bound to be about the economy this election, which one do you fear the most? >> at this point i'm not sure i'm scared. and i don't mean that to sound arrogant in the obama voice. >> let me rephrase, who would you least like to be facing?
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of the names you see. >> i'm not sure, and here's why. i've said consistently i don't think you can beat somebody with nobody. and i don't see that somebody yet that can take the president out. i still believe my critique notwithstanding about pushing the president to be more aggressive about the poor and about jobs. i don't see anybody at the moment that i'm looking at that can beat the president head up, number one. i could be wrong about that. we will see. secondly though, it is interesting to me that all this talk now about rick perry which has everybody excited on the right is fascinating. here's the guy who just a few years ago as governor was talking about seceding from the union. now he's considering the idea of running for president and that excites the republican party? this party that is always rah, rah, yay, america, red, white, and blue. >> but this is the thing that fascinates me with the tea party, with the moderates.
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rick perry and so on. given all their backgrounds, there's no consistency here. there's a really disparate, wide gulf between a number of these party. they've got to work together, haven't they? >> they're acting like democrats, in other words. for many years democrats haven't been able to figure that out either. they do have to have a way to figure out what they want to be when they grow up. but, again, it's fascinating to me that the talk that seems to excite the base of the party most is not talk about the folk who are already in the race but by any other name, hailey barber, et cetera. >> what about of herman cain? >> i've never met him before. he certainly is the kind of person that can deliver a good speech. of course, we have a president already who can deliver a good speech. beyond that, i don't know much about him. i'm sure we'll learn more about him in coming days. >> your story is fascinating. you came from a very humble beginning. ten kids living in a three bedroom trailer. i read a quote here from rhodes.
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the story of rising out of poverty and purpose of music in a dream. his hopes not to be just a broadcaster or a businessman but also a leader and a builder. high praise there from a guy who's interviewed most of the top people in politics and business and so on. >> those were kind words. from charlie, yeah. >> when you hear that about yourself and you have come from a poor background, you have driven yourself where you got to, and you're clearly very passionate about poverty now and people who have nothing, is it more than an us now in america, you think? is the gap getting bigger? >> to be clear, the gap between the have gots and have notes is widening. in this most multiracial america ever, that concerns me. my read of history suggests to me, piers, there is no empire in the history of the world, in the world, that has not at some point failed or faltered or just flattened. i don't know if it's our
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arrogance, our hubris, or patriotism now morphing into nationalively. i don't know what it is that makes us not even consider the fact that one day, this experiment in democracy, that this country, could one day fail as well. and i suggest to you that if it is going to fail one day, and i pray not, it will fail under the weight of poverty. this country is going to implode or put another way it's going to get crushed under the weight of poverty. you can't have 1% of the people who own and control more wealth than the other 90% of the population. those numbers don't add up in the long run. >> what is the trick in recovering from failure? >> i think acknowledging as beckett suggested that failure is as much a part of life as success is. anyone who i know, i suspect if i were to ask you this question, anyone i know that is successful if they're honest they learned more from their failure than their success. >> what's your biggest failure? >> this book lays out 20 of them.
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i went to jail early for writing bad checks as a college student. speaking of college, my parents thought i graduated after four years. it took me 16 years of hiding that the fact that i hadn't really graduated to get my degree. in my career on television and radio i've been caught on tape saying things i wish i hadn't been caught saying. and had to ask for forgiveness from other people. >> of all these things, what have you learned from yourself? >> that i'm human. i'm not human and divine. that i'm just human. failure is as much a part of life as success is and beckett is right. if you've tried, you're going to fail. >> should politicians be more open about failures, about mistakes? >> not just politicians, all of us. the game at la or any level of elite activity, the game is to act like once you arrive to the level of elitism, you have always been fabulous. you never made mistakes or screwed up. i want to push back on that with this book. >> i'm going to bring in a friend of yours after the break. it's your co-host, cornel west.
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joins us is tavis 'co-host, cornel west. welcome. >> blessing to be here. happy you have me on. always a blessing to be on with brother tavis. >> you were a big supporter of president obama. >> absolutely. >> but you also said this recently. you described him as the black mascot of wall street, and now he has become head of the american killing machine, and he's proud of it. pretty strong words. do you stand by those words? >> oh, i believe it. i believe it. i support it, my dear brother barack obama, because i wanted to bring an end to the age of reagan. indifference to poor people and polarizing politic. when we moves into office, who do we get? his economic team coming out of wall street. america had a nervous breakdown in 2008 due to what? wall street greek. tavis and i are christians. we all have gangster
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proclivities. insider trading, all the various criminal activities, none of it investigated or prosecuted as of now. that's what led to our breakdown. now we're having convulsions. with debate over cutting? cutting? there is a state of emergency in america. it is a matter of national security, the condition of poor and, whoing people, as much as iraq and as much as afghanistan. barack obama does not make that a priority. that's why i'm deeply disappointed. >> why is he not prioritizing this? >> he has the wrong team. he has the wrong people around him. i heard you say he is very calm and serene. i love calmness. but when people i am concerned about is catching hell, which is working people of all colors, poor people of all colors, then you ought to have a state of emergency. fdr had a state of emergency. abraham lincoln, state of emergency. lbj, our white brother from jim crow, texas, has a state of emergency in regard to black america.
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he had a conscience. >> let me ask you a question. does the african-american community in america, generally do you think, does it feel particularly let down because he is african-american that you feel he is not doing enough for other african-americans? many of whom are poor? >> i think brother tavis said it well. i think there's an ambivalence in black america. black people for the most part have a deep sense of protection of barack obama. he's viciously attacked by right wing and fox news and others all the time. he lives under the threat of death. we all pray for him daily. >> i haven't heard fox news say quite what you said about him. >> the reason is, i tell the truth. fox news doesn't. >> oh. >> that's the difference, my brother. that's the truth. >> so when you abuse him, it's for truth. when you abuse him -- >> it's not abuse. i love mascots. i love puppets. they are still human beings. but when fox news accuses him of being a socialist, socialist, and he's very much an extension of the very corporate state that
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has been squeezing out the juices of our democracy, making it difficult for poor children, precious children of all colors to live lives of decency. >> tavis says the focus has to be jobs, jobs, jobs. >> absolutely. >> how do you get people who are out of work back to work quickly? how do we fix this crisis? >> well, one thing is that america has tremendous creativity when america has a priority. when you make jobs, jobs, jobs a priority, the kind of thing tavis was talking about, frank rich talked about, bob herbert talked about, and i can go on and on and on, robert cutner talks about, we come up in ways in which job programs -- >> see, i think that is the american philosophy, is choose a problem and then attack it with everything you've got. if you're sick, with cancer, you want to be somewhere like los angeles. because the doctors will go, boom. and i feel that until america collectively with this job situation does this, and comes
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together and says, we are going to fix this, until that happens, and it's not being driven yet by the top. they are too busy struggling with each other. >> and some of this has to do with retraining those persons, as industries change, as we see where the future is headed, retrain those persons who are out of work now. dr. west and i are honored to be on this program tonight to announce in large part this poverty tour. august 6, we are getting on a bus. it's called the poverty tour, a call to conscious. the poverty tour. >> what's the idea? >> to get on this bus and go to big cities and small towns, starting with native americans and african-americans and hispanics and white males and white women, children and seniors and homeless veterans all across this country, 15 different cities, we're going to raise the issue of poverty and talk to those persons who are battling it, who are struggling, those who have lost their homes, don't have jobs, struggling to get an education. we want to use this week of august 6 through 12 to put as much attention, as much spotlight as we can on raising the issue of poverty in america.
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raise it higher on the agenda in this presidential race that we're about to embark upon. somebody has to stand up and defend and fight for and not be afraid to talk about the plight of the poor in this country. this issue is starting to get a lot more traction in this country. we're delighted that this tour is bringing in other persons who believe as we believe. that this issue has to be higher on the agenda. the aarp is supporting us on this. and every day, more and more institutions are signing up to support this. >> you both are very passionate about this. i think what you're doing is great with this bus, great. why is there not more anger amongst the average american at the moment? it seems to me there's a kind of tacit acceptance of their lot. in other words, we know there are big problems. we just have to suck it up. >> people feel helpless. >> why don't they get out and show a bit of passion? >> well, we have seen it in madison, wisconsin. inn in indiana. >> but not much. >> we have been dealing with a culture of greed is good. we have been dealing with a
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culture of don't attack the brother. donald trump says don't tax our success. then you have the lowest tax rates in the last 30 years. when you've got trillions of dollars in tax havens offshore, offshore subsidiaries, corporations. one out of four corporations didn't pay a penny of taxes whatsoever. >> let me be the devil's advocate here. is it really the problem that the rich aren't paying enough tax, or that the poor aren't being looked after properly? >> it goes hand in hand. >> donald trump has a point. there are people self made in this country, who have worked incredibly hard to get where they are. why should they have to pay exorbitant taxation? >> they are not exorbitant at all, brother piers. the level of taxes now compared to where they were in the 1960s and '70s, it's very, very low. but the issue is this. when you give a priority to the interest of corporate and wall street, then you don't give a priority to jobs nor do you give priority to the kind of issues
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of poverty that we're talking about. >> and it doesn't have to be either or. can be and should be both and. we have to look out. the rich have to pay their fair share. and i know a lot of rich people who are willing to pay their fair share. and the poor have to be looked after. one is happening. the other is not. and that's what we're saying. this gap between the have gots and the have-nots cannot continue to grow without signs of anger in the streets. when we come back, i want to hold a gun to both your heads and say, which of the republican candidates, if you had to, would you vote for in the next election? >> ouch. >> as we stand. >> ouch.
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guys, the metaphor cal gun is at your head. you have to vote for one republican nominee as things stand. >> since i don't see anybody yet on their republican side who cares enough about poor and working people, i literally would just put the names on a wall and throw a dart. whoever it hit -- i don't see a difference, honestly. >> cornel, be more specific. >> there's not one. we need a qualitative change in our stance. i don't see any one republican near that. but the democrats don't have
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hardly anyone either. i'm critical of both parties. >> do democrats care more about the people than the republicans do? >> i think parts of them that do. >> final question, will you both be voting for obama this time? >> pray for me. [ laughter ] >> i'm a talk show host. i don't have to answer that question. >> i can't believe you both choked that. that's unbelievable. tavis smiley and cornel west. thank you both very much. >> thank you. >> it's been a pleasure. tomorrow, an exclusive interview with the single largest foreign investor in some of this country's bigst corporations. some say he is the man who really owns america. he is a saudi billionaire. now "ac 3 convict citizen. >> piers, thank you. anderson is off tonight.

Piers Morgan Tonight
CNN July 21, 2011 12:00am-1:00am EDT

News/Business. Ryan O'Neal. (2011) Ryan O'Neal.

TOPIC FREQUENCY America 26, Donald Trump 12, China 9, Us 9, Tavis Smiley 6, Obama 3, Cialis 3, Rick Perry 2, Beckett 2, At&t 2, Barack Obama 2, Priority 2, George Bush 2, Cornel West 2, Celebrex 2, Black America 2, Michele Bachmann 2, Works Fuel Saver Package 1, Ford 1, Narcotic 1
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